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The following information should help with any audio input and output configuration that needs to be done with your system. The topics included show how to setup your audio cables correctly, adjust playback volume levels, set your recording source and input levels and also show how to setup your system to hear recorded audio while recording. These topics are covered for all Windows operating systems - 8, 7, Vista, XP and older.

Topics
  • Audio Cable Setup
  • Playback Volume Settings (Windows 8, 7 or Vista)
  • Recording Source and Input Level (Windows 8, 7 or Vista)
  • Hearing Recorded Audio While Recording (Windows 8, 7 or Vista)
  • Playback Volume Settings (Windows XP and older)
  • Recording Source and Input Level (Windows XP and older)
  • Hearing Recorded Audio While Recording (Windows XP and older)




  • Audio Cable Setup

    Multitrack Plus Audio Cables For the majority of desktop and tower personal computers, the audio input and output plugs are located in the back of the computer as shown in the image to the right. There are usually three main types of 1/8 inch adapters: Audio output is usually labeled green in color. Make sure this is where your speakers or headphones are plugged in. Microphone input is usually labeled pink in color. If you wish to record using a microphone, make sure it is plugged into this adapter. Line-In input is usually labeled blue in color. If you wish to record by taking a line out of a device (such as a CD player, I-Pod, tape recorder, stereo, amplifier, musical keyboard, drum machine, etc) make sure it is plugged into this adapter.

    If using the Acoustic Labs Multitrack Plus with a laptop the audio input and output plugs are usually located either on the side or back of the laptop. The plugs may or may not be color coded as explained above. However, they will most often have the small icons as shown in the image to the right. Notice to the lower left of each of the audio plugs shown in the image there is a small icon. The mic input is most often symbolized with a small microphone icon. The audio output is usually marked with a Multitrack Plus Output Icon icon and the line in is usually marked with a Multitrack Plus Input Icon icon.



    Playback Volume Settings (Windows 8, 7 or Vista)

    In Windows 8, Windows 7 or Vista audio playback volume can be increased or decreased by double clicking on the small speaker icon located in the tray. The tray is located in the lower right hand corner of the screen - just to the left of the clock - as shown in the image below. Windows 8, Windows 7 or Vista volume control is designed so that you can adjust the volume of all Windows sounds and currently running applications as a whole or by the individual applications themselves. To adjust the volume output for all audio, simply use the single slider control that appears after double clicking on the small speaker icon located in the tray. If you wish to adjust the volume for a particular application click the "Mixer" label that appears just above the small speaker icon. This will activate the "Volume Mixer" dialog box which lists each application with its own volume slider. The volume slider can be adjusted upwards to increase the volume or downwards to decrease the volume. Multitrack Plus Vista Volume


























    Recording Source and Input Levels (Windows 8, 7 or Vista)

    In Windows 8, Widnows 7 (or Vista) the recording source can be selected by first accessing the Windows Control Panel as shown in the image file below. Since this may change the configuration information for available audio input devices make sure that you have closed the Acoustic Labs Multitrack Plus before making the following selections. On the Control Panel, select "Hardware and Sound" and then select "Manage audio devices". This will display the "Sound" dialog box. Click the "Recording" tab as shown below and select the recording device you wish to use and press the "Set Default" button. Now restart the Acoustic Labs Multitrack Plus. When recording to a new track this device will be used by default as the input device. Multitrack Plus Vista Recording Source

























    To increase or decrease the audio input levels of the recording source first click on the "Properties" setting of the "Sound" dialog box as shown below. This will display the "Sound" dialog box. Click the "Levels" tab as shown below. There should be a slider control that will allow you to increase or decrease the audio input volume. Adjust this value until you have the exact audio input level you desire. Multitrack Plus Vista Recording Level


























    Hearing Recorded Audio While Recording (Windows 8, 7 or Vista)

    Often when users are recording new audio they will want to hear the audio being recorded through speakers or headphones. This is only possible as an audio I/O device setting since the lag time for software processing of newly recorded audio would at best be able to output the recorded audio with a noticeable delay which is usually unacceptable. Fortunately, most audio I/O devices support this feature. However, there is often some confusion involved when activating this setting because it is implemented by the audio I/O device's manufacturer - meaning that the setup procedure will often differ from one device to another. Here we give examples of activating the setting for two of the most popular audio I/O devices: a generic Realtek audio I/O device and the Creative Soundblaster Audigy 2.

    The Realtek audio I/O device handles this setting within their own audio settings applications. Realtek does not use any of Window's built in control panel settings to control hearing the recorded audio while recording. This seems to be a trend that many audio I/O device manufacturers are following. It's always best to make sure that you have downloaded and installed the latest drivers and available control applications from your audio I/O device manufacturer when attempting to configure this setting. As shown in the image below Realtek's audio setting application resides in the tray. The tray is located just to the left of the clock. Simply double click on the Realtek icon to activate the control settings. After doing so, the "Realtek HD Audio Manager" will appear. If you're recording via microphone, select the "Microphone" tab. You'll notice the "Playback Volume" slider as shown in step 3 in the images below. Adjust this slider to increase or decrease the volume level of hearing the recorded audio while recording. As you can see in the image below there is a similar setting for controlling the level of the "Line-In" input.

    Multitrack Plus Realtek Monitor Multitrack Plus Audigy Vista Monitor

    The SoundBlaster Audigy handles this setting by extending the functionality in Windows audio control settings. First, follow the above steps in Section 12.3 for choosing your recording source. On the Sound dialog box display select the "Analog Mix" recording device and then click the "Properties" button. This will display the Analog Mix Properties dialog box. Select the "Custom" tab as shown to the right and make sure that the "Record Without Monitoring" checkbox is not selected. This will allow you to monitor (using speakers or headphones) what is currently being recorded. From there press "OK" on the Analog Mix Properties dialog box to return to the Sound dialog box.

    Now, select the "Playback" tab on the Sound dialog box (as shown below), select the "Speakers" playback device for the Creative SB Audigy 2 and press the "Properties" button. This will display the "Speakers Properties" dialog box. To increase or decrease the volume level of hearing the recorded audio while recording use the slider controls associated with the "Microphone" or "Line-In" settings. Also, make sure that neither of these settings are muted. A muted setting will be indicated with a small red crossed out sign over the lower right hand corner of the speaker icon as shown under the "TAD-In" setting below.

    Multitrack Plus Audigy Monitor Level

























    Windows XP (or older) Playback Volume Settings

    Multitrack Plus Speaker Icons In Windows XP or older audio playback volume can be increased or decreased by accessing the audio settings in Windows. This can be done by double clicking on the small speaker icon located in the tray. The tray is located in the lower right hand corner of the screen - just to the left of the clock and is shown in the image to the left.

    Multitrack Plus Audigy Playback After double clicking on the small speaker icon a dialog box will appear which allows you to increase or decrease the main audio output volume level as well as the output volume levels for specific audio output devices such as the general digital audio volume, the CD player output volume and the MIDI output volume. It's important to note that the exact format of the settings, controls and how they operate will differ between audio I/O device manufacturers. This is due to the fact that Microsoft has left it up to the audio I/O device manufacturers to design this component. For example, included on the right side of the screen are the audio output volume control dialog for two common audio I/O device manufacturers - the Creative SoundBlaster Audigy (right, upper) and a generic Realtek audio I/O device (right, lower).

    Multitrack Plus Realtek Playback Note how the controls are similar but also differ. The main volume control on the Audigy device is labled "Play Control" and the main volume for the Realtek device is labeled "Master Volume". Also the Realtek device supports 7.1 surround sound. You'll notice that it allows volume control for each speaker set. When the Realtek is set to use a standard stereo configuration the left and right speaker volume can be controlled by the "Front" setting as shown to the right.






    Windows XP (or older) Recording Source and Input Level

    In Windows XP (and older Windows operating systems) selecting the recording source (microphone or line-in input) and the audio level for the input will differ somewhat between different manufacturers of audio I/O devices. This is because Microsoft has left it to the audio I/O device manufacturers to design how the recording settings will operate with their devices. Below we give examples for how to configure audio recording settings for two of the more popular audio I/O devices on the market: the Creative SoundBlaster Audigy and a generic Realtek audio I/O device.

    Creative SoundBlaster Audigy Device:

    As shown in the images below, when setting the recording source or input level for the SoundBlaster Audigy first double click on the small speaker icon in the tray. This will display the volume control dialog box. Then select "Properties" from the "Options" pulldown menu. As shown in the images below, the "Properties" dialog box will appear. Select the "Recording" radio button and check any of the audio input controls you wish to alter, then press "OK". This will display the "Recording Control" dialog box. To record via microphone check the "Select" box as shown below. To increase the level of audio input move the slider towards the top of the screen. To record from a line-in input (via CD player, I-Pod, stereo, amplifier, etc) select "Analog Mix". Keep in mind that these settings are audio I/O device independent. The audio I/O device manufacturer is allowed to not only change the names of any of the labels but also decide the exact functionality of the settings as we'll see in setting up the Realtek device:

    Multitrack Plus Audigy Record
























    Realtek Audio I/O Device:

    Multitrack Plus Realtek Record Setting up the recording source and input levels for the Realtek audio I/O device differs a bit from the SoundBlaster Audigy. With the Realtek device, there is no need to select a recording source. It will record any audio input equipment currently plugged into either the microphone input jack or the line-in input jack. The only issue involved is setting the input level of the audio. First, double click on the small speaker icon in the tray. This will display the volume control dialog box. Then select "Properties" from the "Options" pulldown menu. As shown in the images below, the "Properties" dialog box will appear. Select the "Recording" radio button and make sure the "Recording Control" checkbox is selected, then press "OK". This will display the "Recording Control" dialog box. The "Record Control" section controls audio input for all input recording devices connected to your computer. To adjust the level of audio input move the slider towards the top of the screen.

    As mentioned, these exact settings will most likely differ between the various audio I/O device manufacturers. These are only two examples of setting the recording source and input level for some of the most common audio I/O device. If you continue to have problems configuring your recording settings after reviewing our documentation please check with your audio I/O device manufacturer for more information on how exactly to configure your system.



    Hearing Recorded Audio While Recording (Windows XP or older)

    Often when users are recording new audio they will want to hear the audio through speakers or headphones that is currently being recorded. This is only possible as an audio I/O device setting since the lag time for software processing of newly recorded audio would at best be able to output the recorded audio with a noticeable delay - this is usually unacceptable. Fortunately, most audio I/O devices support this feature. However, there is often some confusion involved when activating this setting because it is implemented by the audio I/O device's manufacturer - meaning that the setup procedure will often differ from one device to another. Here we give examples of activating the setting for two popular audio I/O devices: a generic SoundMAX Digital Audio device which are often packaged with Dell products and the Creative Soundblaster Audigy 2. If you have a different audio I/O device we recommend attempting to follow the SoundMAX instructions first.

    Multitrack Plus SoundMAX Hear To activate this setting with the SoundMAX digital audio device first open up the Volume Control as shown in the topic above labeled Playback Volume Settings. Once the Volume Control dialog has opened make sure the "Mute" checkbox is not checked for the recording source you're using. Many people interpret the "Mute" button on the Volume Control dialog to mean that they are muting the input so that no audio can be recorded from that recording source. This is not true. As explained in the image, when selecting the "Mute" checkbox audio will still be recorded from the source, it will simply not be sent to speakers or headphones while recording. If you feel you have this set correctly and are still not hearing playback through your speakers please see Setting Recording Source and Levels to make sure you have your recording source setup correctly.

    To activate this setting with the Soundblaster Audigy 2 first follow the instructions shown above in Setting Recording Source and Levels for the Audigy in order to access the "Recording Control" dialog box. Once this dialog box has appeared, select "Advanced Controls" from the "Options" pulldown menu as shown in the first step below. Then click on the "Advanced" button located under the "Analog Mix" control. This will open the "Adavnced Controls..." dialog box as shown in step number two. Make sure "Record Without Monitoring" is not checked. To hear the currently recorded audio through your headphones or speakers while recording, this option must not be selected.
      Multitrack Plus Audigy Hear

    As mentioned, these exact settings will most likely differ between the various audio I/O device manufacturers. These are only two examples for some of the most common audio I/O device. If you continue to have problems configuring your recording settings after reviewing our documentation please check with your audio I/O device manufacturer for more information on how exactly to configure your system.